This April, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show will embark on a tour unlike any in recent memory. Traveling exclusively in vintage railcars, the three bands will journey across the American Southwest over the course of a week. The aptly titled Railroad Revival Tour will feature the three bands playing concerts at six unique outdoor locations along the route, beginning April 21st in Oakland, California.
The tour makes a stop in Austin at E. 4th and Waller Street on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Tickets to The Railroad Revival Tour go on sale Wednesday, March 9 at 11 am CST and are available exclusively through http://railroadrevivaltour.com. Each ticket will include an MP3 download of live recordings from the tour as well as a commemorative ticket custom-designed for each site, with no additional service fees.
The Railroad Revival train is 1,500 feet long and consists of 15 vintage railcars from the 1950s and 60s, pulled by two locomotives. The bands will eat, sleep, and record on the train as they travel across the American Southwest, bringing their collaborative vision to fans from California to New Orleans. The bands will have equal billing and equal time on stage, in an environment that encourages creativity and cross-pollination. The entire tour will be the focus of a documentary that captures the spirit of the journey and gives intimate insights into the creative process. Winston Marshall from Mumford & Sons is taking a humbled historical perspective on the tour, saying, "To misquote the great Woody Guthrie, this train is bound for disgrace. Glorious disgrace. Woody rode with his fellow drifters around North America; we get to do it with a bunch of other musicians, although not strangers, from different corners of the world. A dream come true to be on tour with them, a privilege we get to do it on a train (one of Britain's greatest inventions by the way)."
When asked about the inspiration behind the Railroad Revival Tour, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros commented, “From hobos to the wild west, trains have always been a fascination of mine. This tour is going to be rad."
But perhaps Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show put it best when describing the tour, saying that “It's bound to be one hell of a steel wheelin, railroadin good time…while the western country rolls by and the smoke rises blacker than musical notes pouring out of that stoked-up-and-chuggin iron chariot.”
Each act on the Railroad Revival Tour can claim plenty of recent successes in its own right.
Mumford & Sons have deservedly earned a solid reputation for their relentless commitment to touring the globe. Month after month, these gentlemen of the road have pitched up in the remote towns of Australia, the major and minor cities of Europe, and the mountains and plains of America, seducing ever increasing audiences with their uniquely intimate performances. All the hard work didn't go unrecognized either. Their debut album, Sigh No More, has now sold over 2 million copies worldwide, and the band have since been nominated for and won multiple awards in the UK and Australia, and reaped two nominations (Best New Artist and Best Rock Song) at this year's Grammy Awards where they performed alongside Bob Dylan. The band, who admit to feeling out of sorts away from the road, are currently concluding a rare tour of the Scottish Highlands, before returning to the US.
After intensive touring throughout last year, including hit appearances at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Coachella, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have proven themselves to be a touring force to be reckoned with. Recently, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros have been busy in the studio working on their sophomore album, the follow-up to their debut album Up From Below, which is due out later this year. Up From Below has sold over 200,000 copies in the US, and charted on iTunes for 69 straight weeks. Hit single “Home” was featured in a national NFL commercial, propelling the song to over 400,000 downloads. More recently, the troupe’s lead singer Alex Ebert released his solo debut album Alexander on March 1 via Community Music, which was written and recorded during breaks from being on tour as a part of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. The album includes ten brand new songs that Alexander wrote and played entirely himself.
Old Crow Medicine Show have come full circle playing their own brand of American roots music with a rock and roll attitude. They met in New York in 1998 and hit the road, traveling city to city in a van and busking in the streets. They eventually settled for a year in North Carolina, where they ran into a bit of good fortune while playing in front of a local pharmacy to an impressed Doc Watson; the folk icon promptly scheduled the band to play at his MerleFest. Soon after, OCMS relocated to Nashville and found themselves gracing the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, touring with Merle Haggard and regularly appearing on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. OCMS are perhaps best known for their soon-to-be RIAA-certified gold song “Wagon Wheel,” which was a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later finished by the band. OCMS can attribute much of their success to their relentless touring schedule. They have made a name for themselves as energetic performers with an unbridled spirit. Combined, their albums have gone on to sell over 600,000 units. The band has also performed on Austin City Limits and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.